Official business: getting started.
Adrian nods, glad that Aegis has brought the meeting to order, "I think we have a few things to work out among ourselves before we bring anyone else in." Union says, taking up a position at the corner of the table.
"Specifically, there are the issue we had brought up yesterday afternoon: Membership, Focus, Communication, Information and Coordination."
Union looks around the room, taking in the seven other costumed figures, "Since we all arrived here this evening, and we've worked well together in the past, I think we can assume that the eight of us are committed to forming this team. Barring extenuating circumstances we should probably draw the line there for the time being. There's a lot that we have to learn when it comes to dealing with one another, and bringing in others at this point would be dangerous."
Union holds up a finger, "Now that I've said that, I immediately have two exceptions to it. First is the young man calling himself Captain America. He was incredibly helpful during the Asgardian situation, and despite his recent absence I think that if he reappears we should give him the benefit of the doubt. Second is Victor Dumas. He died under..." Adrian almost says 'under our Aegis', then checks himself for what would be a bad choice of worlds, "fighting alongside us, and a posthumous official recognition of that is a moral imperative."
"Next is Focus." Union tics off a second finger, "So far we've been reacting to situations, which has been giving the press an opportunity to define us. We need to define ourselves before the issue gets any more clouded: What do the Avengers stand for, as team? What are the limits we'll put on our activities? How much are we going to be proactive rather than reactive?"
"The name defines us well enough," Dark Angel intoned. "Retribution. Vengeance. Those who transgress your law or His warrant punishment. We are His instruments to deliver it!"
"I beg to differ," Aegis inserts wryly. "I do like the name, but how about we let divine retribution remain God's province, and mortal punishment in the hands of the law? I see us more as defenders of last resort. As for limitsI'd say we should be as active as they'll let us get away with. That may require some delicate negotiations with existing authorities, at least to begin with. Our friend dePaulo, for one."
Janet remains quiet through the conversation, letting the sides bicker back and forth about the plans for the group. Even while playing hostess, she almost seems lost in her own thoughts. _What are you doing her Janet? These people are heroes, they went to Asgard for Pete's sake._ She places coffee, and small sandwiches on the table.
_Sam's starting to slip even more. I certainly hope Delta V is able to help him..._ Union looks back and forth between the two other Avengers, "Personally I'm for a more middle of the road approach. We obviously should be available for situations of last resort, but if we limit ourselves to that we might miss some significant opportunities. On the other hand, I don't think we should circumvent the legitimate law-enforcement agencies that are doing their job, and we can't cross the line into criminal behavior ourselvesespecially killing anyone, though I'm sure that goes without saying."
Adrian's eyes flick over to Dark Angel again, _At least I hope that goes without saying..._
"As far as doing 'all we can get away with', well, there's a war going on in Southeast Asia. How much do you think the US government would want us to get involved? How much could we do to defend South Vietnam?" Union looks around the room, "I'm not suggesting we do this, since I think it would lead to a superhuman arms race with the Soviets, but how should we respond if dePaulo or someone like him orders us to intervene?"
"I am His instrument. I follow no man, save that I give my word to. Those who shall attempt to abuse us for their treachery shall be struck down in righteous wrath. No man's war is justified. Only He and his judgment is without sin."
"I don't know dePaulo, but we do need to set some guidelines, We are not the police, or the military. We aren't even the Knights of Columbus." Janet smiles and pauses at the little joke. "I don't want to speak out of turn, but I believe we do need to put a limit on The Avenger's involvement. There are things too small, and too large for a group of heroes to mix in with. We don't want to be stopping robberies, not that we shouldn't if we happen upon one, but we shouldn't seek them out, that's for the police. On the other hand, I don't think we want to get too involved in global conflicts either."
"I think honestly that some global or national conflicts are going to come to us," Union continues, "In the last few days people here have fought duly elected politicians to help the civil rights movement, went head to head with agents of a hostile foreign power and took up a position contrary to the United State's perceived national security interests. From what I gathered in the morning paper, that Simba character and his allies are part of an internationally-funded terrorist movement. Worse, they're lumping Malachi in with them just because of proximity and race."
Malachi snorts, a wry smile sneaking across his face. "Not too surprising. Although you might think the difference between a fedora and a lion's mane would keep us all from looking alike."
"A bit of retrenching may be in order for the near future; we don't want people to start thinking of us as a crew of loose cannons. However, the way I see it, we have only two options for the long term," Aegis says with a slight shrug. "If we're going to get involved in serious matterspeople *will* ask us to get involved, and I doubt we will all be willing to remain neutral forever--we either heel to their command, or we prepare for the fact that we are not going to make everyone happy all the time." The prospect doesn't bother her much.
She's been watching Union with interest, intrigued by the change in his demeanor from the previous night.
Union shakes his head, "I agree with all of the actions we've taken, but they could easily be used to paint us as anti-American loose cannons. Unless we define ourselves and determine where our capabilities end we may find ourselves at odds with the very people we want to protect, or the enemies of multiple national governments."
"It is nothing to twist the truth and gain from deception. I will attend to those myself." The vagueness of Dark Angel's statement made it sound all the more ominous.
Aegis speaks up, "All the more reason to present a united front. Once we've got these things hashed out among ourselves, I suggest we call a press conference." _Spending all this time around Tony has been good for something after all...._
Duststorm nods in agreement of Aegis' suggestion of a press conference. The socialite knows the benefit of the positive favor of the public. "Before meeting Union in Atlanta, the only things I new of this group is what the papers say. In a way, the press can be our best friend, and our worst enemy." The way Duststorm speaks it seems from personal experience.
Union smiles under his helmet, glad that Janet's getting involved, "OK, so a press conference is definitely in our future. We can just let them know we're actively working for the public good, and handling emergency situations when needed. We might broaden it more than that, but it's a good starting point."
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